Article first published online: 17 OCT 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Supplement: Yearbook of Physical Anthropology
Volume 149, Issue Supplement 55, pages 1–2, 2012
How to Cite
Sussman, R. W. (2012), Preface. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 149: 1–2. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22170
- Issue published online: 12 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 17 OCT 2012
The Yearbook of Physical Anthropology is an annual supplement of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, and both are publications of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. The Yearbook provides broad but thorough coverage of developments within the discipline. Yearbook articles summarize and synthesize the state of the art in a particular subfield of physical anthropology and/or present new paradigms for addressing important issues of general interest in the field. In part, Yearbook articles serve as literature review, but often go beyond this to provide new perspectives on a field, which may include the presentation of original data and analysis. Articles on the history of physical anthropology also are included. Most articles are solicited by the Editor and Editorial Board, although unsolicited articles also are welcome. Individuals wishing to submit an article should notify the Editor before submission. All manuscripts undergo external review before they are accepted. Suggestions for topics to include in future issues of the Yearbook are welcome and may be made to the Editor or to any member of the Editorial Board.
Manuscripts submitted to the Yearbook must be written in English. The Yearbook follows the style guidelines set out in the “Guide for Authors” for the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, which can be assessed at the following Internet address: http/www3.interscience.wiley.com/egi-bin/jabout/28130/ForAuthors.html. The Yearbook does not use the American Journal of Physical Anthropology electronic submission system. Two copies of the manuscript and an electronic version should be sent to the Editor at the address below. Manuscripts may be submitted at any time of the year but must be received by early spring for publication in that year's issue of the Yearbook. Specific dates for an article will be worked out between the Editor and the author. The right to reject or request revision of a manuscript is reserved by the Editor. Authors are responsible for reading and prompt correction of proofs and submission dates must be honored. Manuscripts should normally be no longer than around 60 pages. Requests for information should be directed to the Editor.
The seven articles in this issue cover a wide range of topics in physical anthropology. In the first article, Strum reviews her 40 years of research on the baboons of Kenya. She examines the role of competition in a matrix of collaboration to illustrate the critical role that chance, contingency, and history have in baboon survival and success. She uses the methods of process and not just final outcome, time-scales longer than most studies, and comparative natural history to capture and comprehend the complexity of the baboons' lives and how they deal with this complexity. Strum also illustrates how baboon natural history has changed over the years and provides a cautionary tale about the future of many primate species.
In his article, Disotell reviews research being done on molecular genetic techniques and the data they provide to inform us about many aspects of archaic human genomics. He discusses how molecular analyses can shed light on phylogeny, demography, the history of selective forces, and even the anatomy and physiology of ancient hominins. He reviews how the study of archaic genomics is testing old theories, developing new theories, and generating new questions concerning the human fossil record.
Wells, DeSilva, and Stock review and re-evaluate the nature of the difficult birth process of human, or the “obstetric dilemma,” using recent literature on hominins and primates. They examine aspects of phenotypic variability, such as secular trends in body size, that may exacerbate or decrease the obstetric dilemma. They also look at such things as subsistence techniques, paleodemographic trends, and improvements in nutrition as potential factors influencing the level of difficulty in child birth among humans. The authors provide evidence suggesting that the magnitude of the “obstetric dilemma” has waxed and waned throughout evolutionary history and during shorter timescales as a variety of ecological stresses rose and fell in importance. In contemporary humans, they suggest that the magnitude of the dilemma can be related to various ecological pressures including such things as thermal environment, diet, and infectious disease burden. The relevance of these factors to public health issues is discussed.
In their paper, Hadley and Crooks review the current and recent threats to global food security and the current thinking on how food insecurity is measured and defined. They then outline a model linking food insecurity to coping strategies and health outcomes. They suggest that coping strategies impact health broadly and not just through nutritional pathways. The authors also review the data available on the relationship between food insecurity and nutritional status, chronic disease, infectious disease, and mental health. They finally suggest how biological anthropologists can contribute to our knowledge of food insecurity and human health and wellbeing.
The final three papers in this issue focus on various aspects of the history of our discipline. Marks examines the intellectual conflicts that occurred between Rudolf Virchow and Ernst Haeckel in the 19th century, and G. G. Simpson and Morris Goodman in the 20th century. In reviewing these interactions, he reflects on how different views of the relationship of humans with the apes have influenced our views of human diversity, particularly in regards to concepts of race and human origins. He cleverly shows how these controversies can be related to modern controversies concerning creationism, racism, and the history of our discipline.
Giles takes issue with the recent American Anthropological Associations' depiction, in their multimedia project “Race, Are We so Different,” of Earnest Hooton as a racist eugenicist. He suggests that Hooton was an untypical eugenicist in that he was strongly anti-racist. He provides evidence that Hooton's actions and attitudes were “simply not consonant with his being a racist.” Giles attempts to put Hooton's views and behavior into the context of his time. This is a thought-provoking article about the academic father, grandfather, or great-grandfather of many of us.
In the final paper of this issue, Little and Collins provide a biographical essay on the British physical anthropologist, Joseph S. Weiner. Although American physical anthropologists are quite familiar with the role that Sherwood Washburn had on the transformation of our field after World War II, very few of us are aware of a similar role that J.S. Weiner had in the United Kingdom. Little and Collins set this record straight by outlining the major contributions and influence that Weiner had on the development of human biology and the “New Physical Anthropology” in the United Kingdom.
The 2012 issue of the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology is my last issue as Editor. I feel both privileged and honored to have served the association in this capacity. It has been an extremely rewarding experience. This issue, and the past four issues, would not have been possible without the assistance of many individuals and I am extremely grateful to all of those who have contributed their time and effort during all stages of preparation and production of these volumes. These include the members of the Editorial Board, listed inside the front cover, the Wiley editorial and production staff, and the authors who have provided such excellent papers. I especially want to thank the external reviewers who spend a great deal of time and effort anonymously and whose comments helped to improve the quality of this and past issues considerably. Our peer reviewers are the backbone of our journals.
New articles and suggestions for future issues of the Yearbook should be submitted to the new Editor, Dr. Trudy R. Turner, Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201 (firstname.lastname@example.org).